It’s the holidays and that means family time and presents and mirth (and myrrh), but it also means that things get a lot harder than normal. Parking spaces at the mall, putting together dinner, traffic — it’s all more difficult during the holiday season. As a result, I’m always on the lookout for things that make life easier, even when it’s not the holiday season. That’s why I’m talking about muchopoints today.
When you search for a hotel on whatever search site you use, your results are almost always displayed in terms of price and distance. For the frequent travelers and points-obsessed among us — and that’s pretty much everyone reading this — there’s another factor that hasn’t been addressed in hotel searches: reward points. Muchopoints not only gives you the price and distance, they also give you the option to see either (a) how much it’s going to cost you to book the stay with only points or (b) the number of points you’re going to earn via their “muchoscore™,” a unique algorithm that calculates the hotels that will give you the best return on your investment in terms of reward points. When you think about it, the whole thing is pretty genius.
I hate trying to price out a trip in terms of points. I end up going from program site to program site, trying to keep all of their redemption levels straight. Is this place an SPG Level 5? How many points is that? What category is this DoubleTree? After five minutes, I’ve got fifteen tabs open across two browsers and I’m about ready to give up. With muchopoints, I don’t have that problem. They display results from most of the major hotel reward programs (Starwood Preferred Guest, Hilton Honors, Marriott, Accor, Best Western, InterContinental Hotels Group) and sort the results by muchoscore™, which tells you how close your stay puts you towards another free stay.
For example, if you’re trying to stay at the Westin in Chicago’s River North neighborhood in mid-January, it’ll cost you $185/night (not bad!). The muchoscore™ for the stay is .93, which means you’re 93% of the way to a free night with 8,400 Starpoints earned. Muchopoints does the math for you and shows that it’s better to stay at that Westin than the Renaissance down the street where you’ll be paying $109 a night and only earning half as many free stays (a muchoscore™ of .48 versus .93). As an added bonus, muchoscore™ considers the status you have with different hotel programs and factors in bonus points as well as current promotions.
Muchopoints is still in beta, so all of the features aren’t there yet, but when they fully launch, you’ll be able to not only search using the muchoscore™ algorithm, you’ll also be able to keep track of all of your hotel reward program points in one convenient place.
For road warriors and point hounds, this is a major new tool at your disposal. If you travel on the company’s dime and get to book your own travel, you can now orchestrate your trips to maximize your personal stockpile of points and that means that when it’s vacation time, you can wind up with a full week of Caribbean luxury for free instead of a few days in Akron because you didn’t use muchopoints. Pretty good, right?
If you’re more of a visual learner, check out this video for a full explanation of what muchopoints is all about.